Mongolia and Asian Security
Mongolian Journal of International Affairs
We have approached the end of the twentieth century, which has been characterized by the unique paradox of unprecedented human progress and unprecedented destruction. On the one hand, rapid socio-economic changes have led to increased life expectancy by 18 years, and, as of 1995 80 per cent of all children had been immunized against vaccine-preventable childhood diseases. On the other hand, the percentage of civilian deaths resulting from war has risen sharply. It is estimated that over 110
... d that over 110 million people died in 250 wars this century, which was roughly six times more than the estimated toll of wars in the nineteenth century. Changing Global and Regional Trends The momentous events in the last seven years signified the end of this dualistic nature of World War II. The unification of the two German states, freedom gained by the East European states and the dissolution of the superpower USSR have been the landmark events delineating the end of an era in world history. These events have also been attributed as portents, passing through a time which is exceptionally interesting but also fraught with danger. Following the collapse of the bipolar format of international politics, the nations with great ambitions are trying to give the new world order a shape of their own design. Attempts are being made to rewrite ideologies, the old alliances are in search of new orientation, political systems, national sovereignties, and national frontiers, are being confronted with new challenges. While few are trying to resist this change, others are compelled to be mere observers, and there are still others, due to their limitations, unable to act swiftly to guard their interests in a fast changing global environment. In this new post-Cold War circumstance, many would view the present as a great opportunity lo drastically revise and improve the prospects for peace and security. However, the debate over what kind of global order may emerge is far from complete. The final result will shape the nature and prospects of peace and security in, the next century. With the bipolarity shattered in most respects (except perhaps in nuclear relations), none of the other familiar alternative characterizations of international systems, such as unipolarity, tripolarity, multi-polarity, offer an adequate description of the fast changing international environment.